Good day readers! I’m back. I’ve been on a lovely trip to France and England, which I will recount shortly. However, I’m still writing on the adventures of our honeymoon. I’ll start up where I took off on the Isle of Skye. It’s been a busy couple of months so posting has been less frequent of late. However, now things are a little less calmer (crosses finger) and I’ll get back to more regular posting per week.
So to return to our honeymoon in October:
On our day on Skye, we wanted to undertake some more hikes. The guidebook recommended the Old Man of Storr, which was relatively close to Portree, where we were staying. So we drove to the hike location, awed by the continual hills/mountains, blue skies with wispy clouds, and reflective lakes. We parked off the side of the road near the entrance and began our hike. Once again, our guidebook had said that it would be an easy hour and fifteen minutes. It had neglected to mention that it was a steep walking path that lead to a steep climbing path. But we soldiered on, gazing at the spectacular view behind us. Our goal was a series of rock formations that were named the Old Man of Storr. It was a glorious hike on a perfect day!
After the hike, we felt our appetite whetted for another castle. So we drove off to Dunvegan Castle, a more modern castle than some of the others we had previously seen. It appears that the castle is still being used by the clan so we saw many well furnished rooms. We did see the famous Faire Flag, a prize for the family, that gave victory to those who wielded it in battle. There is also a drinking horn with the legend (if I recall correctly) that the bearer must drink it in one gulp. Eep!
We also wandered the truly spectacular gardens surrounding the castle. There were several themed gardens; it was like a little Chicago Botanic garden. There was a walled garden, a rose garden, among others. The castle, like many, is also on the edge of a loch. So we clambered down the rocks nearby. I had seen a couple gazing with significant interest into the water. In my experience, this usually signified something of note. And there were two seals just swimming around at the loch next to the castle. Spectacular!
Sadly, our time on Skye was coming to an end since we had a long drive back to Edinburgh. We would break up the drive by spending the night in Dalmunzie Castle, another treat from our groomsmen. It’s about an hour and a half from Edinburgh. The drive from Skye took about 5 and a half hours. It was incredible to see how the terrain changed so much from the hills/mountains of Skye, to the forests on the mainland, to the highways.
One feature did stick out: the lack of rest stops. We spent about 3 hours looking for a gas station to fill up the car and to use the restrooms. Finally, we found a little hotel in the middle of nowhere that would allow me to use their facilities. So something to keep in mind in the future.
We finished the drive to Dalmunzie on dark and windy roads. At one point we were passing through someone’s farm on either side of the road. We saw pitiful handwritten signs imploring people not to hit the sheep. Thankfully that was not an issue for us. But in the dark, we felt worlds away from the rest of humanity!
By the time we got to Dalmunzie, we were famished and exhausted. We were a bit nervous that the place wouldn’t have food since it would require a fairly decent drive to find an open food establishment. As we breathlessly hauled in our luggage, we inquired about food and found out that we had two food options: 5 course meal or bar food. We opted for the latter since we weren’t in the mood for such a long (and expensive) dinner. Later on, I would learn that the place had a Michelin floret or two…alas. The bar food was perfect for that evening. The castle appeared to be a kind of hunting lodge, surrounded by many acres of countryside. Our room was rather impressive: a canopy bed, a bottle of port, a washbasin at one corner, wooden furniture of one’s dreams, and other odds and ends. It was stunning. A perfect place to end the day.
That’s all for now!